Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Boch Becomes The Box - #805

According to Greek legend, a charming young woman was given a box.  Pandora, created by Hephastus as ordered by Zeus, was told not to open the box.  Ever.  Sure enough, she did.  All the evils of the world, including Glenn Beck, escaped.  As she slammed the box lid shut, she caught the last entity as it tried to escape - hope.

Well, in my own sort of way, I opened Pandora's Box and unleashed evils into my world.  Hope, however, was not lost. 

Pandora's Bock from the Breckenridge Brewery, one of the most clever beer titles ever in my opinion, was cracked open about a week ago.    My 805th beer was simply stunning from start to finish.  The sweetness on the nose and that delightful mahagony color was sooooo inviting.  Balance?  Perfect.  On the tongue, the caramel sweetness and subtle maltiness were dead on.  The finish is exactly what you want it to be - exciting, refreshing, and rewarding.  A "5" out of "5" -hands down.

When I cracked open that bottle, unbeknownst to me, I opened evil.

A short while later, I noticed my home computer was starting to act funny.  I have it set to go dormant after about 20 minutes.  When I go to bed, it may be on, but when I wake up, it's sleeping.  At least, it should  be.

One morning, it was still on.  Hmmmm...  Oh well, it was just this once.....  It will be fine the following cycle.

Nope.  Something was certanily up and it wasn't a head of beer.

That night, I was working on some emails. I was typing away and my "active window" suddenly became inactive. "Pop!", there it went. I did nothing.  Before too long, it was happening with all windows - emails, web browser, everything. 

While I was far from panic mode, I was certainly in "concerned mode."  VirusBotSpyware?  Anything goes at this point. 

So began an odyssey of downloads, reboots, scans, and swearing that lasted easily hours over days.  A search of various discussion forums showed that I was not alone.  One fellow suggested that I enter the "Task Manager" and look for programs running in the background that should not be there.  I was prepared to start cross-referencing the list with known trouble makers and start "ending" them when fate stepped in. 

Zeus?  No.  His smokin' hot daughter, Athena?  No.


" better not do that..."

While not godlike in intelligence, he is pretty god-damned smart (one of the smartest in our high school graduating class, in fact).  I have known him since the Taft Administration, so we go waaaay back.  He was home visiting his parents and he knows a thing or two about computers. 

"You have got to be careful doing that.  If you cut the wrong program, you will have some serious troubles..."  were his basic words.  "Do a system restore."

It turns out the sometimes not-so-smart guys at Microsoft developed a program called System Restore (after all, if they were completely smart, I would not be having trouble!)  Every day, it takes a snapshot of the computer's guts.  If trouble starts, you can go back and set the computer to a previous setting.  If, for example, you downloaded updates and then trouble started, you can go back in time to a point before the updates were installed.  If the trouble is no longer there, you can work on figuring out which update caused the problem. 

Sure enough, the restore point, about the time I cracked opened my first Pandora's Boch, was incident free.  Hibernation was ..., well, hibernating and active windows stayed active. 

Interestingly enough, as I re-installed my drivers and updates one at a time in an attempt to confirm what caused the problem, the problem did not come back.  I have no explanation.  That said, I do not care. The computer is working, swearing has ceased,  and my blood pressure is back to normal. 

Keeping with the ancient Greek tradition, it is my intention to have a stone temple complete for Neal's return around Christmas.  The sacrifice of a goat is certainly in order!

I strongly recommend Pandora's Boch, but don't open it around delicate electronics. 

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